status as a company owned by its employees and
retirees translates into little litigation, he said. The
ownership structure means that Graybar is “not man-
aged from quarter to quarter or analyst call to analyst
call.” In addition, according to Geekie, the company
favors a strategy of organic growth for its employee/
owners, “so we don’t do deals.”
Intellectual property is under the legal depart-
ment’s umbrella, and Graybar maintains a “nice,
mindset for the members of the legal department,
compared to their work with private companies.
They must become familiar with federal acquisition
regulations and adhere to them. The same goes for
Department of Defense contracting rules. Geekie
grapples with state and local requirements, as well.
A handful of Graybar’s locations are unionized, which
generates legal work. There is very little work on the
immigration front, however—Geekie said that he has
as Emerson Electric Co.’s assistant general counsel.
He served as the general counsel for a St. Louis
company owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. before
joining Graybar in 2008.
Graybar is not “managed from quarter to quarter or
analyst call to analyst call.”
modest trademark portfolio.” One of the in-house
lawyers helps Geekie to oversee it. Geekie handles a
fair amount of contracts work, given the broad mix of
products it sells and companies it works with, including electrical contractors, industrial plants, power
utilities and telecommunications providers.
Geekie is charged with protecting Graybar’s proprietary information and assists the firm’s information
technology department in doing so. High-tech palm
and retinal scanners are two new products.
never had to face an immigration-related issue of
Graybar is registered with the SEC but is not publicly traded. Geekie characterized Graybar as being
“way ahead” of the requirements and restraints of
Working for Graybar has brought Geekie back to his
hometown of St. Louis. He and his wife, Karen, are
the parents of Elizabeth, Corinne and Ryan.
Geekie fills his spare time with reading, participating
in triathlons and coaching his children’s soccer teams.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University in 1984, and his law degree from the Saint
Louis University School of Law three years later.
Geekie thought he was “going to be the next great
trial lawyer” until he got the itch to submerge himself
in the corporate world. A career thrill for him occurred
before his move in-house. He was victorious in an
unusual age discrimination case in St. Louis in which
the plaintiff was only 41 years old.
ROUTE TO PRESENT POSITION
Geekie launched his career as a trial lawyer at
St. Louis firm Moser & Marsalek. He then moved
in-house to Siegel-Robert Inc., a manufacturer of
electroplated plastic parts that are used in the automotive industry. Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin,
now Husch Blackwell Sanders, was his next stop.
After that, Geekie went back to the electrical industry
A BOOK AND MOVIE
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham
Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Journal for
Jordan: Hope, Prayers, and Life Lessons from a Fallen
Soldier and the Woman He Loved for the Son He Left
Behind, by Dana Canedy; Wall-E.
LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Graybar offers a vast array of products to government agencies at the federal, state and municipal
levels. Dealing with government requires a different
An earlier version of this profile appeared in The
National Law Journal on April 20, 2009.